Lakeside Conference Centre (LCC), based at leading hub for bioscience York Biotech Campus (YBC), was recently selected as the hosting venue for the International Commission for Plant-Pollinator Relationships (ICPPR) Bee Protection Group’s 15th symposium.

This international event brought 129 delegates from global organisations across 17 countries including the Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland, and Czech Republic back to Yorkshire for the first time since 2005.
The biannual symposium is dedicated to the protection of bees, pollinators and the health of delicate natural ecosystems and focuses specifically on the hazards of pesticides to bees.

The first in-person symposium since the Covid-19 pandemic was chosen to be hosted at YBC’s LCC as on-site occupier, Fera Science, is a member of the ICPPR. The ICPPR is a non-profit organisation of researchers from a broad range of disciplines who voluntarily collaborate to assess, understand and work towards bee protection in modern sustainable agriculture.

The success of the event was a collaborative effort between YBC, Fera Science, the ICPPR, Castle Howard, Make it York and events specialist Ellen Davies from LND events. Together, all parties involved arranged every element of the event, including accommodation, conference lectures and workshops, transport, and social activities, which included a trip to scenic visitor attraction, Castle Howard.

With delegates able to benefit from its flexible meeting rooms, the LCC hosted five individual sessions across the symposium dedicated to sharing ground-breaking research on understanding and mitigating the main threats to bees from pesticides.

Speaking on the success of the event, Annaleigh Marshall, event manager at the Lakeside Conference Centre said: “When our occupier Fera Science approached us needing flexible, quality conferencing space to host this significant global event, we knew our LCC was the perfect place. Not only were we able to co-ordinate the conference in terms of meeting space and required video technology, but we could tap into our relationships with other organisations across Yorkshire to add real value to the delegate experience.

“Crucial to the success of this event was a synergistic approach between ourselves, Fera Science, ICPPR, Make it York and LND Events. There were a lot of moving parts, but each piece of the jigsaw puzzle fitted together smoothly to deliver a conference that not only sparked innovative debate, but our visitors were able to enjoy everything our region has to offer from an ecological and cultural perspective.”

Jens Pistorius, chairman of the ICPPR Bee Protection Group, added: “The LCC was incredibly facilitating. Being based at a science park meant there was flexible space and a wonderful accommodating team, which was very supportive throughout the whole process of planning and hosting the symposium.

“The delegates found the symposium, location and cultural excursions incredibly rewarding: we received great feedback from everything, especially the visit to the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall in York city centre where we attended a Viking themed gala dinner complete with a mead reception, live music and entertainment from medieval minstrels. For many of the attendees it was their first time to York, but certainly not their last! We can’t thank YBC, Castle Howard and Make it York enough for organising such an incredible event.”